Gwen Stefani wowed fans of her husband Blake Shelton by making an unbilled performance of her classic “Don’t Speak” at the country star’s show. Stefani has slowed down the pace of her music career in recent years but she clearly has still got it, showing off a huge presence onstage which instantly captivated the audience.
The original version of “Don’t Speak” is an alternative rock ballad, but being a Blake Shelton show, the band had to give it an ol’ time country workover. Although the song is nearly three decades old, Stefani still delivers it with a ton of passion, as you can see in the video below.
Despite it being his show, Shelton sits back and lays down a solid rhythm part on acoustic guitar, letting Stefani do what she does best – getting face-to-face with the audience and putting on a show. As always, Stefani gives her all to the audience and they eat it up, bringing a great energy to the room.
Gwen and Shelton have collaborated before, with the couple recording “Nobody but You” as a duet for the country star’s 2019 compilation album Fully Loaded: God’s Country. Shelton said he was blown away by his wife’s work ethic in the studio, commenting “She’s not willing to take anything less than greatness and she’s willing to put in the work. I don’t think Gwen knows how great of a vocalist she really is.” Check out their duet below.
“Don’t Speak” is an interesting choice for the married couple to sing live, as Gwen wrote the song in response to her first love Tony Kanal breaking up with her. By her own account, Gwen was obsessed with Kanal at the time, who was her bassist in No Doubt, and the traumatic breakup was the catalyst for her growth as a songwriter. As she told the Guardian “I just sang in my brother’s band (Eric Stefani, the guitarist of No Doubt). But after the breakup, I just started writing all these songs and suddenly I was: ‘Oh I think I’m really good at this!’”
“Don’t Speak” was the third single from No Doubt’s third studio album Tragic Kingdom, which had a number of tracks that addressed Gwen’s breakup with Kanal. The pair were still in the process of breaking up as they were promoting the album, which Kanal told the Guardian was traumatic. “In every interview, we were talking about it so we were opening this wound on an hourly basis. It was so brutal but I don’t know how we made it through,” he said.
Despite the heartache, “Don’t Speak” was a breakout success for No Doubt, becoming their biggest single internationally and topping the charts in a host of countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. The song has remained a fan favourite and is currently the band’s most streamed song on Spotify, with 612 million streams clocked – more than double their second most streamed song “Just A Girl”. If you would like to see more from Gwen Stefani, you can follow her on Instagram.